It’s been awhile my friends. I’m sure you are just dying to know how my abs are, right? HA, ok no. But if you’ve been dealing with diastasis recti from pregnancy maybe you’re curious how my progression has been, and itching for some more advanced core workouts since my last post. Well you’re in luck because today is all about healing diastasis recti: part 2.
Grab a seat and let’s chat. Are you hoping for a miracle 3-month story on how to get your post-mommy tummy back to it’s original peak form? This isn’t going to be the tale you are looking for. As they always say, it’s a marathon, not a sprint. I have made some progression since my last post and the birth of my second baby (now 4 months old). But progression isn’t perfection, and if body perfection is what you are looking after pregnancy, it’s a lofty (and usually unattainable) goal. So let’s focus on progression mommas – progression is the name of the game here!
The physical journey after having a baby has been easy for me, the mental part has not been. After having children, my abs went from my favorite part of my body, to my least favorite. And as silly as that is, it can be a tough pill to swallow. So instead of dwelling about what I had and how I can get that back, I’m focusing on loving my new body, my new stomach, my trophy for having babies – yes, the babies themselves but I’m really talking about umbilical hernias – YAY for hernias! (sarcasm)
Umbilical hernias happen when your abs have separated (in my case, due to pregnancy), causing an opening for your body’s intestines to push through that open gape. You can detect an umbilical hernias if you have a slight bulge above a newly formed ‘outie’ belly button. These type of hernias do not go away and tend to get bigger over time. The only treatment is surgery. BOO. Do I have much advice on umbilical hernias? No. All I can say is that if you have one, it’s fairly normal. Avoid any strenuous exercises that cause you to bear down into your core, which can make the hernia worst. This also applies when you go #2 (you get the picture). If the hernia causes pain, it may be time to see a doctor and consider surgery.
I’ve been working on taking it easy with ab work and doing these exercises that are DR-friendly, but to be honest, it’s been a challenge finding the time to lay on the floor and practice ab recovery work. It’s been challenging finding any time at all for myself! So I do what I can, and I make sure to avoid ANY AND ALL crunches. Now that I feel like I’ve mastered the initial core work required to help rebuild my broken core, I have moved on to more advanced DR-friendly core exercises below.
Is my stomach drastically different than it was 2 months ago? No. However, I absolutely feel stronger in my mid-section with the help of the rehabilitation exercises and the use of my Belly Bandit directly after the birth of my baby. And when I need little help getting that flat tummy look during special events like date night (you know, like twice a year) I grab my Belly Bandit Mother Tucker Corset. Because there’s no shame in my game. When I want to dust off that little black dress, the last thing I want to worry about is feeling self-concious about post-baby belly. The Mother Tucker Corset is also an easy transition from the Belly Bandit when you want to continue to wrap but the Bandit is no longer tight enough to feel secure.
Here is a photo of this corset’s work in action. Now, let me be clear – do I advocate changing your body, or altering the build you were born with? NO. But do I believe in doing things or using products that make us feel a little better about ourselves? SURE! I wear fake eyelashes from time to time, and if I want to strut around a party and not worry about my DR issue, why not slip on some shapewear? As you can see, it makes a difference when my stomach is completely relaxed, and then when I have this compression piece on. I feel confident, and more importantly, it even reminds me to engaged my transverse abdominals.
If wearing a corset is something you want to consider, it’s easy to wrap it around your body, cinch it to your desired tightness, and go! The folks at Belly Bandit suggest you hook the corset before your wear it, then simply walk into the wrap and lift from your knees all the way up to your stomach. I found it easier to find the third hook to start, then the other top two, and continue hooking all the way down.
The corset can be worn hooked in the same vertical line (there are 6 different sized options/hook holders). But if you’re curvier, or if your DR condition is in a very specific portion of your core, you can adjust the settings to fit tighter or looser, giving you the freedom to customize the corset to fit YOUR body.
Although the Belly Bandit Mother Tucker corset is a great way to help you feel better in your clothing and can serve as a reminder to engage your abs by pulling your belly button in towards your spine, the single best thing you can do to heal diastasis recti is learning the correct way to execute ab exercises. Here are more advanced versions of DR ab work, a follow-up from my initial post on healing diastasis recti.
Healing Diastasis Recti: Part 2
Straight Leg Heel Lifts
Lie flat on your back, hands down at your sides, and feet planted on the floor. Inhale then exhale sharply and tilt your hips up towards your ribcage, keeping your lower back on the floor and cinching your belly button in towards your spine. Hold that position as you extend and lift one leg slightly off the ground. Next, lift your heel up towards the ceiling, keeping your foot and hip in one straight, vertical line. Next, gently lower the heel back to that original position (hovering off the ground). Do these motional all while holding your traverse abdominals in (belly button towards your spine, back flat on the floor). Execute 12 repetitions with one leg, then 12 with the other.
Lie flat on your back, hands down at your sides, and feet planted on the floor. Inhale then exhale sharply and tilt your hips up towards your ribcage, keeping your lower back on the floor and cinching your belly button in towards your spine. Lift one leg (foot pointed) and extend to a 45 degree angle from the ground. Start to make a small circle outwards with you toe, imagining you have a pencil between your toe and you are trying to draw a circle in the air. Do 12 circles in an outward motion, then another 12 circling inward (towards your other leg). Repeat the same sequence with your other leg.
Sitting Heel Sliders
*Note – you may need to wear socks to execute this exercise. Sit against a wall with your lower back glued to the wall, shoulders relaxed, hands and feet planted on the ground. Flex your feet, then gently slide your feet out until your legs are fully extended. Focus on keeping your core tight and belly button pushed in towards the wall. Slide your heels back in to the original position (slight bend in your knees) and do 24 repetitions.
Horizontal Heel Sliders
Stay in the same body position as you were for the exercise above, feet flat on the floor. Next, push both feet out to the side, then slide back in to the original position. Do 24 repetitions.
Turned out leg lifts
Start with your forearms flat on the ground, body facing the ceiling, and feet planted on the floor. Make sure your elbows are directly under your shoulders, your hips are tilted towards your ribcage, lower back glued to the ground, and knees bent. Lift one leg off the ground and your foot out (the arch of your foot should be facing the ceiling, kneecap facing the side). Keep the bend in your knee as you gently lift your leg to your highest point without losing the tilt in your hips, then back down – hovering slightly off the ground. Keep your belly button cinched to your spine and complete 12 lifts with one leg, then switch legs to complete 12 on the other.
*Note: Only attempt this modified plank if you have been working with the previous exercises to build your core strength. Do not attempt to do a plank if you feel your core is still weak, or if you do not yet know how to target your transverse abdominal muscles.
Start in a forearm plank position, knees on the ground, feet in towards your seat. During the time you are holding this plank, focus on bringing your belly button in towards your spine and holding it there, all while breathing deeply and engaging your inner transverse abdominal muscles.
Do these exercises as often as you can throughout the day, continuing to build strength in your core without traditional crunches, which often times make DR worse. While doing normal daily activities, focus on your breath – every time you exhale try getting your belly button closer to your spine – and hold it there. Doing this throughout the day is a constant core workout!
Diastasis recti may NEVER completely heal. It’s the cold hard truth. But empowering yourself with knowledge about what NOT to do when resuming your exercise routine will help your efforts to close the gap (even just a little), and avoid making the condition worse.
Talk to me! Have you had much luck healing your diastasis recti? What are other things moms can do (or avoid) to make the condition work? Did you develop an umbilical hernia after having children? The more we can talk around this issue, the more we can learn from each other!
This post is sponsored by the awesome people at Belly Bandit. As always, all opinions are 100% my own. Thanks for supporting Physical Kitchness! Disclaimer: Please note that there are affiliate links on this page and I will earn a small commission if you purchase through those links as a Belly Bandit Ambassador. However, all opinions are my own. Thank you for your support.
Beverley @ Born to Sweat says
Chrissaaaaa you are so beautiful!! I loved this post, mainly because of all your selfies hahaha. i’ve never heard of a hernia like that, man bodies are so strange. however, i’ve never seen somebody ROCK a tiny hernia as well as you do, so well done. ps you look so fab, like seriously. such an inspiration.
Hahahaha YES – selfie invasion!! I joke with my hubby that my hernia is an ab muscle. I mean, fake it till you make it, right?! Love ya girl.
Bless your heart, that sounds really painful! But… you look awesome! It took me almost a year to get my stomach back to where I wanted it to be after 2 babies, and it wasn’t a walk in the park getting it there, but I think these tips are really helpful for a lot of women! Thanks for sharing! 🙂
I think we all too often think we should be ‘back to normal’ after a few months but that’s such a skewed and unattainable goal. I got pregnant with our second just 14 months after the birth of my first, so I never really felt like my body FULLY recovered. It certainly does take more time than a few months (or even years). Thanks for your comment Cara!
Loved reading this article. So informative and helpful. The inf about corset was so useful. I am going to try the tips of workouts. Thanks.
Thank you so much Gunjan!
I had a three plus finger diastasis after my first (and got it down to a narrow one finger with a lot of work) and now have it again now that I am pregnant with my second. One of my biggest shocks about dealing with DR is that no medical provider even told me what it was until I went to pelvic floor physical therapy for another reason. Doctors don’t know to recommend tummy safe exercises post partum. The best resources are moms online who know about post partum fitness and have been through it. Thank you for sharing your story – you are helping more people than you know.
Oh my gosh – I wish we could grab coffee and gab about this! Same exact situation happened to me – NO one told me. I too went to a pelvic floor PT and she helped me a ton (most of my exercises are based on my experience working with her). So many docs have very little knowledge on this subject, or don’t recognize it as a medical condition. Which is really frustrating and isolating! Thanks so much for your comment Caroline – the more we share the better!
A mal says
Wow great post. Same here, my doctor never mentioned anything about me having DR or the hernia. Im pregnant again in I’m wondering if there is anything I can do now to prevent or heal it
Any advice ?
Unfortunately no. If you are pregnant, I would definitely avoid all crunches and planks. But you cannot really prevent or heal it during pregnancy to my knowledge.
Erin Caffrey says
Just curious, did you look up pelvic floor PT on your own or did you have to get a referral? I had twins 17 months ago and still not back to normal and I think PT could really help :).
I had a referral. My insurance covers 6 visits and it was well worth it!
You look like you have a really good attitude about it; I didn’t realize that this was so hard to heal, and it is neat to see you share these tips and encouragements for mamas who are struggling with this too. <3 Praying for healing! God is a MIGHTY healer and deliverer.
It just takes SO long and there is SO much modification needed. DAILY! But I’d take the worst case of DR any day for the gifts of my little loves. I never thought about praying over this (seems silly) but you are right, HE is the mighty healer!! Thanks for the reminder girl.
Michelle @ Fruition Fitness says
Loved reading this! I have a very slight case myself, (just DR, not hernia) but like you said, it’s so hard to find any time. If I have time, I usually go for a run.
Right?! I totally get it – the last thing I want to do when I have time to workout is lay on the floor and do work that doesn’t get my heart rate going, but it’s so important! I need to keep reminding myself of that!
Stacey S says
You’re the best! Great blog post!
You’re the best for always supporting me xoxo
What a great post. I’m not a huge exercise person but my goal for 2017 is to get my core into much better shape. Having had two girls over 20 some years ago.. my core needs a lot of help.
Thanks for the honesty in this post.. that corsett looks helpful. May have to check it out for myself.
It’s never too late Mikki! These are great starter core exercises whether you’ve had kids 2 months ago, or 20 years ago!
Sarah- A Whisk and Two Wands says
Love that you are helping all the mamas out there! I’m really working on my whole core with barre and I notice a big difference in just over a week tightening new muscles that I must not normally workout in all the years of exercising. With it though the uneven stomach from being pregnant with my daughter is more noticeable the tighter my stomach and abs get.
YAY for barre!!!! Such a great workout – actually the first fitness routine I got back in to just a few weeks after my son was born (I modified all the ab work though). I hope you continue to see results Sarah!
Deborah @ Confessions of a mother runner says
A couple of the moms in my group developed this during pregnancy. Thanks for sharing your photos and your exercises.
Ugh not fun!! But more common than I think people realize!
Jill Conyers says
This will be helpful to a lot of people Chrissa.
I sure hope so! Thanks Jill!
It’s awesome to know the waist trainer/Belly Bandit can be used for something real. 🙂 I know the belief has to come from within, but I think your stomach looks amazing! I love the exercises you paired with it; one of my fiends has diastasis recti after having twins. She’s been doing Core de Force which has a lot of core exercises similar to what you recommended, as well as, standing moves to help tighten the core. I’m excited to see her results too! It’s great more people like you are talking about it and letting people know it’s something a lot of women go through and there are ways to help it.
Hi Kalee – thanks for this! I have not heard of Core de Force but now I’m super intrigued. I hope you friend has great success – DR can be such a head game for moms. Even if you’re back to pre-pregnancy weight, having DR can make you feel less than fab. I hope this post can help lots of women feel comforted that it’s totally normal!
Do you plan to have any more kids ? Did your hernia get repaired? I had a small hernia same location as yours with stitches and I want 1 more child but am soo nervous that my stomach muscles wont do well n hernia will not hold.
Great question! Soooooo we are undecided on that topic. However, when I talked to a doctor about this, I was told that if I ever wanted to have surgery for the hernia that I should wait until I’m done having babies. I think you may get varying opinions about that – but personally, I’ll wait. My doctor also said the only reason to have surgery to repair that area is to eliminate any pain. So if your hernia is not causing pain, I’d think twice about surgery, as it may not fix it aesthetically. BOO I know!
abbey sharp says
You’re such an inspiration, awesome post, thanks for sharing <3
XO Thank you Abbey!
Emily Holdorf says
Love that you are helping moms out there! Very informative post!
Thanks Emily! I hope this helps lots and lots of mommas!
Ivonne Galaburri says
I am now working on getting this condition under control. After delivering 10 children, no twins, I think I am done with this belly pooch or as I call it kangaroo pouch.
I have a long road ahead but I am not new to exercise so this is just another added benefit to a healthy me.
…please pray I don’t give up. 🙂
You got this! It’s a long road and may NEVER be the same, but worth the work to get your core back to being strong to support your entire body
thanks for the great info. that corset definitely looks interesting and those exercises look like something we can all benefit from.
Absolutely! These exercises are perfect for anyone looking to work a little differently in their abs!
Really great information! Great exercises and photos! You are gorgeous – thanks for sharing your photos and helpful information.
You’re so welcome Kristin! Thank you for stopping by!
Great post! I’m learning about diastasis recti too. Sounds/looks like you are on the right healing track. Sometimes we just want to rush things and beat them into shape. But it doesn’t always work that way and can actually do more damage.
I’m trying to STILL wrap my head around that when my brain just wants to bust out a hardcore HIIT workout but I know my body isn’t ready! Thanks Chrissy.
Julie @ Running in a Skirt says
What great exercises and I bet that corset made a big difference! YOu are gorgeous anyway though!! xoxo
XO thank you Julie 🙂 The corset is great – so soft too!
These are great tips! I need to start doing these!
YES! Even though this is specific to postpartum women, transverse abdominal work is great for anyone!
Get it, GURL! I love those workout pants too!!
Thanks, aren’t they fun?!
Thanks for writing this. Found it on Pinterest. I too have DR and an umbilical hernia. I am most saddened by the umbilical hernia since there is nothing to do about it. My sincere hope is that if the DR gets better, the hernia will too. Thanks for all the exercises. I have been doing some of them, but you have a few modifications I haven’t found yet!! Trying them tonight. Thank you and keep up the good work!
I KNOW! I so know. If mine gets better as my DR does, I’ll definitely write about it – but I am not hopeful. My mom also has an umbilical hernia from pregnancies that has never went away. Just one of those things! Sigh, I just call it my bulging ab muscle – LOL! Hang in there!
I’ve done a lot of searching on exercises to heal DR, and your article is one of the best! Thanks Chrissa. When I discovered I had DR I actually became really depressed. I was in the middle of an exercise program I absolutely loved, yet every ab exercise was exactly what I shouldn’t be doing ? I was devastated. Since then I’ve shifted my mental focus a bit and felt hopeful in healing diastis, but your article has made me feel so much better! And now I have quite a few exercises to go to. Thank you again ❤️
Oh Laura – this just makes my heart so happy (not the DR part but that part that helped you of course) 😉 I totally get what you are saying. It seems silly to feel so stuck and bummed out about it, but DR can really take a toll on how you feel about your body, and the mental block that comes with having to modify everything. I hope you see some progress and feel better about the normalcy of it all!
Thank you for sharing! Very helpful. Would you suggest doing these exercises while pregnant to keep the core strong? Of course, assuming I’m already active and working out regularly both for many years before and throughout the pregnancy so far.
Absolutely! As long as you can still lay on your back comfortably, these are great to maintain strength and fire up those transverse abdominals. Congrats Ellen!
I have DR and an umbilical herna like you. I hate it and am gutted to read that it probably won’t go with healing the DR. That said, you do look amazing and have given me hope and a boost to get cracking with the DR exercises as your pics look fab and your hernia is not that noticeable. Thank you for your post x
Hi Clare – I know how you feel. It’s deflating. BUT I would gladly take the weird looking hernia over a bad case of DR. Cheers to it getting better for the both of us! I guess the silver lining is that it’s SOOOO common. Mommas all over the world all understand!
After having baby #2 I’ve been struggling with my body and more specifically my abs (that are now non existent!) I work out regularly and can’t wait to add it your tips for diastasis recti! Thanks for sharing!
I hear ya girlfriend!!! It’s a LONG processes – my baby is now 7 months old and I still am struggling with this. Keep on though – it may take years but we got this!
I have self tested for DR and even though I have a lower belly pooch I don’t seem to to have any separation above or below my belly button, but have just under 3 fingers at my belly button. I thought the pooch was extra skin or fat as pull or smooth it with my hands my belly is flat. It is just mushy (feels like bread dough, as my children so kindly put it 🙂 and wrinkly. I eat a paleo diet and am toned and slim everywhere else. Could you tell me If the area where your stomach protrudes is hard like muscle or soft and can be flattened? I have 3 kids and all were large babies (just under 8, 9 and 10 lbs) and do not have very elastic skin (my mother had the same issue) so I just figured it was loose skin and I have to live with it. Now I am wondering if it is lack of muscle in that area and can be corrected. I would greatly appreciate any thoughts or insight you can give!
Hey Bobbie – it’s really hard for me to know. I’m not an expert when it comes to DR, just sharing my experience and the advice from my pelvic floor specialist. It sounds like it could be lack of muscle and I don’t think it would hurt to try these movements consistently for 2-4 months to see if you’ve made any progress. It usually takes much longer than that, but at least you can gage to see if it’s improving in that time. Keep me posted! Kids are so honest. LOL!
Thanks for posting this! I have an umbilical hernia (I’m pretty sure) and ever since I noticed it i’ve been paranoid about working out. I was going to the gym every day, doing intense core stuff and now I don’t feel I can do anything. I know crunches are a definite no and planks are a no until you’ve built up your strength but is there anything else to watch out for? I’m wanting to get back in shape but don’t know what I can do.
Thanks again for sharing this and being a voice for this!
I hear ya girlfriend. Those hernias are not fun. You’ve pretty much covered it – but really, any exercise that creates strain in your core that causes your belly to push forward, AVOID! So if you are lifting anything heavy and find that your are unintentially pushing your stomach muscles out, you might be overdoing it. Hope that helps!
I’m about to have my second child and I was wondering if I should be wearing a belly wrap to bed?
I used the belly bandit for my first but it was not comfortable enough to sleep in and I have been reading that one should be wearing a wrap all the time.
Thank you for your awesome feed???
Hi Ruby – congrats!!! I did. I figured the more the better, but if you can’t sleep with it on, it’s probably ok since you aren’t really moving or exerting yourself.
I’ve had two children and three hernias. Two repairs and another hernia despite wearing the abdominal binder. All hernias developed after the birth of my second son. When I became pregnant I was in very good physical shape with a flat and toned stomach. My doctor said that there are no exercises that can repair a hernia as it is a tear in the stomach muscle lining which requires either sutures or mesh repair so that bowels and intestines do not protrude through . Sadly it is something that came as a result of a tight core being weakened throughout pregnancy. My first hernia became incarcerated twice resulting in two trips to ER and severe abdominal pain. If not treated it could have killed me. Although I applaud the attempt at avoiding medical intervention unless necessary, your hernia will never repair itself. Incarceration can lead to strangulation which is life threatening. Please be careful and aware.
Hi Mandy – thanks so much for your comment. Yikes, scary experience I’m sure. I am aware that the hernia will never heal or go away on its own. These exercises are meant for reporting diastasis recti and closing the gap or hole left from ab separation, not fixing the hernia. Did you experience pain, therefore went in to the ER? My doctor has told me that the hernia is fine, unless it starts to hurt – that’s when I need to look in to medical intervention.
Thank you so much for sharing this!! It has been so hard to find good resources on what I can do to fix my diastitis recti as a person who likes to exercise! This is such great information and I am so glad you shared!! I am wondering what workouts you do on top of this to stay fit, that are DR safe?
You’re so welcome Kayla! I do a ton of barre workouts (I just modify the abs) and general weight lifting. I also incorporate HIIT as long doing things like jumping jacks don’t make you tinkle! Running is great too (if you aren’t having pelvic floor issues)
I do a lot of barre (modified abs), running once I felt like my pelvic floor was strong enough to handle it, and weight lifting! I just like to mix it up but stay mindful of intensive core work.
I am so shocked to see how common this is.. I have 2 finger DR and umbilical hernia after having my second baby.. I went to the doctor for the hernia and they told me I was a shallow vain woman for being concerned about my hernia and DR.. that unless I’m in serious pain it’s not a medical issue, and if I wanted a nice stomach I shouldn’t have had children. My now ex physician was a very angry bitter man.. thank you for your posts now I know I’m not alone in this love hate relationship with the “mommy” belly ??
WHAT?! Time to find a new doctor! Wow, I’m so sorry you had to experience that Cheyenne! It’s true that usually a hernia isn’t fixed unless you are experiencing pain, but MAN your doc must have been an angry bitter man!
Nikki s says
The truth is, you do not want hernia surgery unless it’s an issue and do your best to avoid mesh. Many surgeons, even excellent ones, are too quick to prescribe that. Wait and see is the very best approach and try to heal yourself if at all possible. Truth is. when you sign up to have kids, you are risking c sections and hernias. That’s the truth. Coming from a person, without kids, approaching her 2nd repair of the same hernia, I’d rather not even out an foreign object into my body. Nope, not ever. Your doc, albeit insensitive, just said something to you that no other would. He saved you 15-20k bucks.
But wait and see. If it bothers you, get it fixed!
Thanks so much for this information Nikki! It is really helpful to me and I’m sure a ton of people who see this post too!
Ann S. says
This is such great info. I also had diastasis recti after having my baby. Your exercises are what what I worked on with a pelvic floor physical therapist. One thing I never knew before having my baby was how damaging the whole process can be to the pelvic floor and ab muscles. I was not prepared for that. I never had issues while I was pregnant with leaking ?. But man after giving birth, at first I had little to no control of my bladder and it freaked me out. It took time to correct. My stomach still isn’t where I’d like it to be and I’m a year and a half pp. It’s like you say, it’s about the progression!
I hear ya I hear ya I hear ya!!!! So many pelvic floor tops and DR information isn’t shared enough! It’s definitely a long road but those little ones make it worth it 🙂
Can you have DR years after giving birth? My son is 4 and my core feels so weak and my pelvis tilts forward. I worked out before, my whole pregnancy and after but never progressed with my core. I was doing it all wrong! Had horrible lower back pain and my back cracks every time I tilt my pelvis in the place it should be.
Yes, absolutely! You can have DR years after having children.
Your posts have been so helpful! I’m newly diagnosed with DR. I’m 6 weeks post baby number 3. If you had to choose one of the wraps to get/use to help in the recovery process of DR, which would you choose? The Velcro or Mother Tucker? I regret not wrapping since day 1, but I need to start now for the belly and back support.
Thanks for your opinion!
Hey Heather – I would definitely start with the Mother Tucker, although I’m confused when you say velcro ?? The Mother Tucker does have velcro. I think it would work well for what you need!
Thank you Chrissa!
I guess I meant the original styled belly bandit wrap vs. the corset style with the hooks. I wasn’t sure if only choosing one, which would be best.
Thank you again for the all the information you have put out there to help with DR!
So I wasn’t sure if I had DR. My baby just turned one and I think I finally found a video showing how to tell if you have it or not. I’m pretty sure I do. I’m frustrated because I have done all the wrong ab exercises, but I have done some of the ones you have shown here and there throughout this year. I weigh 111 lbs and I’m 5’2″. This is just about 3 lbs off from my original weight. I know my skin is stretched on my belly and I have a little more fat there, so I am working to reduce that, but I feel so self conscious about the mommy pooch! I’m not used to my belly protruding past the seat belt and looking so round when I’m sitting or standing very relaxed. When I hold my daughter on my hip I feel like it makes it look worse too.
Anyway, Thanks for all the exercises. I’m going to focus on doing these all the time. Wish I would have started when she was just born, but I didn’t know! My question is, will there ever be a time when I can do regular ab exercises again?? Also is it too late for me to start using the belly bandit to help with healing?
Give yourself some grace! I know it’s hard, but it’s also so normal so take comfort in that fact alone! That’s SUCH a great question and one I’m still exploring myself. Hoping to do a ‘part 3’ so stay tuned!
I had an umbilical hernia repaired after my 1st and have had 2 successful pregnancies after. I am struggling with diastasis 12 mo this pp with my 3rd. I started at 4 fingers and am 2.5 and at a stand still. I’m soooo glad to have found these ‘new to me’ exercises. There are so many websites talking about the known heel taps, toe slides, etc but not much info on like stage 2 exercises. You hit the nail on the head and these are exactly what I need to hopefully start seeing results again! Already did them tonight as I read your post! So, thank you soo much!!
WOW, thanks for stopping by and sharing. Did your umbilical hernia come back after your last two pregnancies? I’m always curious, since my doctor advised me to wait to have surgery until I’m done having children.
No, it has never come back thank goodness. In fact I got pregnant with my second within a couple months of getting it fixed They told me it wouldn’t and I was skeptical but still in tact!
Becky Foley says
I am due with my third within the next two months. Since I have had my kiddos so close together I have DR and umbilical hernia too. I’m just wondering have you used the same corset the whole time? I want to make sure I buy something that works! Can’t wait to get that and start your workouts.
I would use the belly bandit immediately after birth for 6-8 weeks at least. The corset is great for under clothing, but not as much for really targeting DR issues directly.
I just stumbled upon your site via Pinterest and I’m so happy to hear that I’m not alone! Not that I wish DR or a hernia on anyone-I just haven’t had it come up with any mommy friends and from reading the previous comments, looks like my doctors aren’t the only ones who have failed to really mention anything. I did receive a sheet of core exercises from the midwife at my OB’s office after baby #2. I only figured out that I had DR when she crossed out the exercises that were labeled ‘do not do if DR is present’. I didn’t do them regularly enough and my back hurt from compensating for a lack of core strength. After baby #3, I was given a binder to wear (I gave birth via c-section) and it was a game changer! I did find out a few months later that I have an umbilical hernia. The paperwork from my visit to my family doctor states not to use a corset as it may be counterproductive for the hernia. Is it safe to wear or beneficial?
It’s SO frustrating the lack of information or postpartum care! I really can’t say if a corset is counterproductive for a hernia. I would trust your physician. I haven’t had an issue but everyone’s situation is different.
Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! I’ve been searching a lot of DR and hernia info and yours popped up today! So funny because I just enjoyed your recipes on the Whole30 Takeover on IG (I think that’s what it was ?) then find out that you have the same tummy struggles as me while searching Pinterest. I am not alone!
I am a year PP with my second baby but have avoided all exercise due to getting DR and a painful umbilical hernia during my first pregnancy 2 1/2 years ago. I did P90x for the first time today and avoided the necessary exercises. Is it safe to do P90x (only doing Kenpo, Legs and Back, and Shoulders and Arms to avoid ab exercises) and your core exercises? P90x was my go to program before children and I miss it!!! Thanks so much for all the info I have received from you recently!
I’m not familiar with a ton of the P90X workouts, so hard for me to say. But I think if you are avoiding any straining with your core you should be ok! And of course no planks or crunches.
Thank you SO much for these exercises and for sharing your experience and knowledge about DR. I have DR after having my 4th baby and it has been frustrating to have to modify so many things in different fitness classes I take but I don’t want to make my DR worse! Who wants to go and work out and make it worse so it’s so important to be educated about what helps heal it and what makes it worse! Physical Therapy has helped me as well and when I go to a class and have to modify I do my PT exercises during the class instead of crunches or sit ups. I love your posts, recipes and insta stories!
Thank you Katie! DR is such a frustrating condition, especially having to modify SO MUCH. I get it!
Just found this!
I had umbilical hernia surgery Sept 2017. 11 months after my second baby.
It didn’t heal well… So I’m 18 months post partum now. Horrible diastasis recti.
And still have a hernia.
I hurt all the time.
I tried a full belly bands but can’t get them right enough or I have a muffin top on top of the band 🙁
OH NO!!!!!! I’m always curious to talk to women who have had surgery. Have you went back to your physician or gotten a second opinion? I’m so sorry!
Amanda Hanseling says
Thank you so much for writing this! I just had a visit yesterday with a NP who told me I had DR and an umbilical hernia. She told me there was nothing i could do except surgery, and they would probably never do it since it wasn’t causing issues. She then told me not to do any crunches and didn’t have any other advice. I left that appt feeling hopeless and frustrated. This helped encourage my heart a ton! Thank you so much for exercises and sharing your story. I will definitely keep visiting to try these exercises and try my best to strengthen what was lost!